New Images Show The Dust in Nearby Galaxies,

 we're usually looking at is primarily the light of their stars

 stars are far from the only ingredient that makes up a galaxy. 

 the dust is usually second fiddle; but that dust, from which stars are born, to which stars return

 the distribution of dust in four of the galaxies that are closest to the Milky Way: 

Without dust and gas, galaxies as we know them wouldn't exist. 

New stars being born incorporate the dust from dead stars, making each subsequent generation of stars slightly different.

The images also reveal new information about the complex interactions that occur in interstellar dust, 

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